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Game of the Week: Patriots vs Jets
The New York Jets had the home crowd behind them. They had Darrelle Revis back out on his island. They had the intensity of the first night of Monday Night Football.
And they had one of the worst offensive nights in franchise history.
We're talking just six - yes, six - first downs, 44 plays and 176 yards in a 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
And now for their next trick, the Jets, favorites by many to win the Super Bowl, must now try and avoid going 0-2 to start the season when they host the New England Patriots in Week 2.
You know, the New England team that stormed all over the sleeper darlings from Cincinnati.
The Jets looked bad on Monday night, but their numbers looked even worse, particularly on offense.
New York ran the ball just fine, though clearly starting running back Shonn Greene had his issues. With LaDanian Tomlinson taking most of the carries, the Jets actually ran the ball for more than five yards per carry. Mark Sanchez and the passing attack? Well, let's try not to call it an attack. The Jets threw for a paltry 60 yards against the Ravens, finishing with just over three yards per pass attempt.
So once again it appears that New York will have to win games with its defense. Despite all of those ugly statistics, Sanchez and the Jets still had a shot to pull off a two-minute drill, kick a field goal and win the game. If only Dustin Keller's head hadn't been rocked so hard by Ray Lewis that he actually remembered what a down marker looked like.
New York stifled one of the top running backs in the NFL, Ray Rice, and held the Ravens to a ridiculously low 1.4 yards per carry. Surprisingly, it was in the passing game where Baltimore took care of business, picking on cornerbacks Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie much to the lament of Revis.
The Jets allowed 233 passing yards, but that number is inflated because of the number of pass attempts. Really, New York held up fine in allowing just over six yards per pass attempt.
But how will they fare against a better offense in New England?
The Patriots jumped out to a 24-0 lead then held on the rest of the way in a 38-24 victory over the Bengals in a game where Tom Brady was nearly perfect.
Brady threw for three touchdowns and didn't turn the ball over, racking up a rating over 120 in a great offensive start in New England.
With Fred Taylor getting the bulk of the carries, the Patriots ran for more than five yards per rushing play. Their passing game was even better as Brady led them to more than seven yards per pass attempts, carving up the Bengals defense. Perhaps the most impressive stat is that New England ran just 56 offensive plays but picked up 20 first downs -- a slight difference from the Jets' game one day later.
Defensively, the Pats left a little something to be desired.
Perhaps the big lead had the unit easing off the gas pedal a little bit, but it wasn't too hard to figure out the Bengals' gameplan from that point forward. Cincinnati threw the ball twice as many times as it ran it, yet still gained nearly seven yards per pass attempt as Carson Palmer threw for 345 yards. Against the run, New England looked much better, giving up just 3.5 yards per carry.
What does it all mean?
Well, it appears a lackluster Jets offense will go against a Patriots defense that was a bit exploited in Week 1. And a solid New England offense will test its strength against a stout defense that didn't get rewarded on Monday.
According to 501 simulations, the Jets are in for another heartbreaker.
The Jets get the better of New England on the ground and more than double their first down total from Week 1, but it's Brady and the Patriots who have the last laugh. New England throws for an average of nearly 50 more yards per game and the Patriots win more than 56% of the time by an average of just one point.
Who's the Super Bowl favorite now?
Please note: The Jets/Pats, Colts/Giants, Buccs/Panthers, Cardinals/Falcons, Eagles/Lions and Saints/Niners games have been re-simulated on 9/16/10.
NFL Week 2
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10.9||13||Boxscore|
|@ Carolina Panthers||89.1||29||Simulate Game|
|@ San Diego Chargers||87.8||32||Simulate Game|
|@ Dallas Cowboys||86.8||25||Simulate Game|
|@ Green Bay Packers||77.4||22||Simulate Game|
|@ Minnesota Vikings||75.8||25||Simulate Game|
|@ Tennessee Titans||70.7||24||Simulate Game|
|St. Louis Rams||33.7||18||Boxscore|
|@ Oakland Raiders||66.3||26||Simulate Game|
|@ Denver Broncos||65.1||23||Simulate Game|
|Kansas City Chiefs||37.9||18||Boxscore|
|@ Cleveland Browns||62.1||24||Simulate Game|
|New York Giants||46.3||22||Boxscore|
|@ Indianapolis Colts||53.7||24||Simulate Game|
|New England Patriots||56.7||20||Boxscore|
|@ New York Jets||43.3||19||Simulate Game|
|@ Atlanta Falcons||40.3||19||Simulate Game|
|@ Cincinnati Bengals||36.1||18||Simulate Game|
|@ Washington Redskins||29.9||20||Simulate Game|
|New Orleans Saints||76.2||24||Boxscore|
|@ San Francisco 49ers||23.8||17||Simulate Game|
|@ Detroit Lions||15.2||14||Simulate Game|
Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.